How to Improve Your CSGO Warmup Routine - A Guide With DIG Xizt
Sun 30th Aug 2020 - 2:34pm
Warming up is undeniably one of the most important rituals before every match for someone who takes a game such as CS:GO seriously. Even if you’re just playing for fun, you want to win - nobody plays to lose. Everybody should tryhard. After all, it is a competitive game. But why is warming up so important, one might ask? Just like every other exercise that requires physical or mental agility, warming up your arm/wrist/hand is crucial - not only to avoid possible wrist injuries but also to get your feeling for your sensitivity on point.
We spoke to Dignitas CSGO player Richard 'Xizt' Landström for tips on how to improve your warmup routine!
There’s no better warmup than actually playing the game. Though, when I say “playing the game”, I’m obviously not referring to getting into a match itself. I’ve had the pleasure to talk with the DIG CS:GO captain, Richard "Xizt" Landström, to help me with this article. I’ve asked him a few questions regarding his warmup to understand what works for one of the most prestigious IGLs in the world.
Do you have a set routine for warming up?
“Yeah, I do. Early on your career, you'll find out what works best for you. For me, it's always been starting out a good music playlist, do some deathmatch, warm up my wrists, and I like to think what's going to happen in the game and really start focusing - get in my zone!” - Xizt
Like many other players, Xizt prefers to have a set routine to warm up. Why is that good? Let’s compare it to fitness - if you go to the gym and do random exercises that work different parts of the body, you’re not really doing it optimally because, although you’re working different muscle groups, you’re not really doing it enough for a set group to improve. That’s why you need a routine - you only work a set of muscles on a set day. It’s exactly the same for warming up, but for different reasons. If you’re able to teach your body to get in the zone with a set of exercises, it’s easier to get there if you do the same every time. On that note, please don’t do the same exercises at the gym every time!
What are some of your favorite warmup maps?
“I don't really have a favorite, I mostly just go into a DM server and start shooting heads. It's mostly Dust2, sometimes a bit of aim_botz as well.” - Xizt
Xizt is someone who doesn’t put a lot of thought into his warmup routine. Most deathmatch servers are set to be played on Dust2, which makes sense, since it’s a very well-known PUG style map, with wide-open areas such as Long A, which makes for good fights that solely rely on aim.
And then you have one of the most classic maps for warming up, one that I’ve already referred countless times on other articles and that so many professional players use: aim_botz. Made by Mr. uLLeticaL, you can get it on its Steam Workshop page. This map is amazing for warming up due to the immense options it has - you can get static or moving bots, on different ground levels, with or without obstacles, every weapon… it’s amazing. Try it and you’ll quickly understand why it’s used by so many professional and amateur players.
Is your routine different before practicing compared to before playing an official match?
“Depends on the practice. Sometimes you want to focus on yourself more during practice since you're not going to be anti-stratting, it's really different when preparing tactics and deciding how you're going to call.“ - Xizt
Let’s say you’re already on a competitive level, playing with a team, and have several official matches coming up. Most players take the warmup part on those a little more seriously than when only practicing, and that’s perfectly normal. You’re more focused, you want to win, so it’s better to warm up well. I’d say that this shifts from player to player, but maybe you’ll want to do more Deathmatch or even more aim_botz.
This is something that you’ll have to figure out for yourself. In fact, most of the warm-up tips I could give goes down to this - it’s something personal, and everyone has their own preference, there’s no other way around it. Find out what works for you, what you like to do, even the type of music that you enjoy warming up to.
Going a bit back to what Xizt said, there are different types of practices: naturally, if you know the team you’re playing against, and you know you’ll eventually play against them, it’s only natural that you don’t try to counter their usual plays. Practices are focused on improving your own team game and not exactly winning, let alone trying to outsmart your opponents by letting them know you’re actually studying them.
How much time should you spend warming up?
Again, that’s another thing that boils down to every single player preference. While some might be ready to play after 10 minutes of warming up, others might take more time.
“I think between 20 and 30 minutes. It's a pretty good benchmark just to start playing well. Sometimes I'll feel warmed up just after 10 minutes. It really depends on how I'm feeling.” - Xizt
Just like Xizt said, even he has different timings and he’s been doing that since older versions of Counter-Strike. Make sure you warm up enough to a point where you feel your aim is clicking. One thing I personally like to do to see if I’m the desirable point is starting to do some flicks, whether with the AWP or a rifle. When I feel that I’m not under or overshooting most of the time is when I feel I’m ready to go.
But be careful - warming up way too much might actually be bad to your performance. Just like with any regular sport, if you warm up more time than you should, it could actually have a negative impact on you, since you’re already tired before the real deal even begins.
“I avoid warming up way too much. Too much deathmatch and running around it's going to tire you a bit and eventually might hurt your performance on the match.” - Xizt
The way I’m writing this article will probably make it seem that warming up is actually something that needs training, or experience, to master. It’s actually really simple and there’s not that much thinking involved. Just trust your gut - why warm up more if you already feel ready? Do you want to improve your aim? This may not be the ideal time, since you’ll be playing next, whether that is practice or officials. Go out there, try different maps, different types of servers - find out what works best for you, and take your warm up game to the next level!
Thank you for reading this article! If you’d like to reach out to me for feedback or suggestions, you can do it through my Twitter.
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